74. Rhik Samadder; A Bangkok Sex Hotel Epiphany, New York Dwarf Punk and Snakes in the Mojave Desert   - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 74
August 6 , 2019

74. Rhik Samadder; A Bangkok Sex Hotel Epiphany, New York Dwarf Punk and Snakes in the Mojave Desert  

Waking up in a Bangkok sex hotel with his mum on his 30th birthday, Christmas Day, with no money and nothing to do but talk, lead to an epiphany for writer, actor and broadcaster, Rhik Samadder. He writes about battling depression and much more in his wonderfurful new book I Never Said I Loved You and on the podcast we talk feeling like he didn’t belong when growing up with Indian parents in London, forgetting trips to New York, losing all his money on a Singapore buffet breakfast and how travel can, in some ways, help heal.


On this episode we cover:

Lisa wants to give him a hug

His new book I Never Said I Love You

Exploring difficult territory in his life

Living with depression

Matt Haig’s books

Mental health issues becoming more talked about

Travel being integral to his book and his life

Waking up in a Bangkok sex hotel with his mother on his 30th birthday (Christmas day!)

Being depressed after the death of his father

The big trip for his 30th birthday – Australia and Thailand

Getting very sick abroad

Being quite a bad traveller

Trying to cover all of Australia in a couple of weeks

Australian houses being BIG

Losing all their money on a hotel buffet in Singapore

Having a terrible memory – forgetting he’d been to New York!

Having no money in Thailand, accommodation falling through

How the disastrous birthday/Christmas day actually changed his life

Travelling through Disney with his parents as a child

The death of his father hitting him very hard

“being in a country where he didn’t know whether he belonged’

How travel can only do so much healing

‘wherever you go, there you are’

Visiting his friend in Spain

Ronda and Hemingway – a town always perched on the verge of disaster

His mother’s stories about her childhood in India

India being huge and overwhelming

How the British were wankers historically

Rhik not feeling British

Lisa feeling British, English, from Spain, from the Wirral, from Brighton and from London (hashtag confused)

Rhik feeling like he was letting down two teams rather than just one

Experiencing racism growing up

The mistrust grown from being made to feel he didn’t belong

Wanting to be the little blonde girl

F**k being a fairy

Not playing fairies as an Asian boy in Lewisham (South East London)

Lewisham now being more upmarket

Living in Peckham

Kentish Town bastards coming over to our side of the river

Feeling out of place in India as a child – ‘adrift between continents’

Psychic ancestral roots in India

India’s noise and attention and craziness

Not liking being a ‘target’ when travelling

Lisa’s Dad being stopped from going into a restaurant (when with her white mum and tour group in India)

Long train journeys throughout India

Realising that he will never have the same leeway as ‘the white traveller’

White beggars in Asia asking for money ‘for travel and weed’

How travellers get their ‘travel look’ at the Khao San Road in Bangkok and the great description of this in The Beach

Lisa’s dancing on bar days

Being able to identify all different nationalities when abroad

Dutch tourists and ‘thigh time’

Do the Dutch not have curtains?

If anyone can tell us what this issue with thighs and curtains with the Dutch do shout!

Curtains in the hair not in the house

Going to New York two weeks after 9/11 then forgetting he had been

Disorientating or disorienting?

How the trip came back to him when he saw his passport stamp!

A dwarf punk band in Brooklyn

Running into an old flatmate in the Spanish portrait wing in the Met gallery

Re-contextualising relationships in a different environment

Does documenting everything with photos flatten the experience of travel?

Whether photo filters are good or bad for the world

Lisa liking ‘things to look how they are’ with #nofilter

The phenomenon of travelling to get the pictures

Matt Haig talking about how travel helps depression

Travelling for work being different to pleasure

The healing power of connecting with people from different places

How satisfaction is better to aim for than happiness

Going on the same holiday every year to France

Eating French cheese until they’re entirely spherical

French hip hop about throwing your shirt off

Being sent to LA to interview a man burying himself alive with snakes in the Mojave Desert

Discovering the divine music of Fleetwood Mac

Being on the threshold of an adventure in a plane

Travelling and feeling full of possibility of being alive

The music question – which has a great answer! And Lisa offers a great one too

How the LA landing is a great landing